note: entire contents copyright 2003 by Beverly Creasey
Reviewed by Beverly Creasey
The LIBERATION! FILMS stage production of "The Seagull" is not your usual Chekhov. For one thing, director Dawn Davis has staged it as a ballet of sorts, meaning the actors use the gestural language (and sometimes the movement) of dance to enhance the text --- Robert Brustein's adaptation.
Inspired by the son's search for "a new form of theater" --- you'll remember he stages the play-within-the-play to shock his mother, not unlike the one within "Hamlet" --- Davis' conceit serves the material brilliantly: I listenbed intently to every word. There are no distractions, like set or costumes to get in the way.
What this "Seagull" also has going for it is Adam Rosencrance's Charismatic performance as the desperate, idealistic son. Striding on stage like a young Al Pacino, Rosencrance commands our attention. His mother may call him a sullen, sulky boy, but we see the torment under the insolence.
Several performances set this "Seagull" apart: Amy B. Corral as a wild Masha; Edwin Beschler as the sweet old uncle, Irene Salimon as the doomed Nina and, best of all, Phillip Atkins as the jaded poet. Atkins has a balletic solo/soliloquy whi, for one, would happily see again.
Special mention, too, should be made of Jeremy Kumin and William Kenyon's haunting, atmospheric lighting and Rosencrance's ethereal music (by Sigaros et al). Chekhov would be beaming at all the fuss.